The Dark Sky Observatory is a new build visitor centre designed by ARCEN to give visitors a unique opportunity to experience the night sky as it is rarely viewed – and as it would have been seen centuries ago by our ancestors.
Combining the latest technology, from holographic installations to virtual reality headsets with colourful, accessible interpretation panels and hands-on activities, visitors to the centre will be able to explore our solar system from our sun and moon to our stars and the planets, all under one roof.
The centre piece of the space is a star-gazing telescope and retractable roof feature, opening up the opportunities to view the night sky without light pollution and establishing Davagh as the only official ‘dark sky’ reserve in Ireland.
The bespoke design of the project included its irregular build shape, Sedum (grass) roof and Cedar timber wall cladding. The creative vision was designed to sit seamlessly in the blanket bog environment, to look as though it was floating on the natural environment, fantastically achieved and evident from the finished product.
The Observatory is sited at the foot of the Sperrin mountains and in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
LUMEN CHRISTI COLLEGE – FIRE RISK UPGRADE & EXTENSION
Lowry Building & Civil Engineering successfully completed the refurbishment & fire improvement works throughout Lumen Christi College, employing the highest skilled tradesmen, sourcing specialist to advise on lighting protection to the old school & new extension & bespoke joinery to facilitate fire protection of M&E systems while maintaining visual aesthetics of the listed structure.
The works included;
• Installation of fire alarm system & emergency lighting
• Fire door alteration work
• Ironmongery replacement
• Construction of new fire escape & associated site works
• All other associated mechanical & electrical installation work
The works were carried out within the ‘live’ educational environment where Health, Safety & Environment aspects were paramount to protect the staff/ pupils & operatives.
Our site team proactively planned all activities, deliveries & security to cause minimal disturbance & provide maximum safety.
The Elms student village is located on Malone Road, Belfast and comprises purpose built student accommodation in close proximity to the Malone Conservation Area. As part of Queens University’s Rolling Upgrade programme to provide the highest standards of student accommodation throughout the estate, we were appointed to undertake the complete internal refurbishment of 21no. student accommodation buildings over two summer periods.
The first phase which was completed during the 2017 Summer break relates to the refurbishment of 8 buildings which were constructed between 2001 and 2005. The second phase (to be undertaken during the 2019 Summer Break) relates to the refurbishment of 11 buildings constructed between 2003 and 2007. Each building is three storeys high and houses approximately 33 students within individual study and bedroom areas. Each floor also contains a communal kitchen and living/dining room.
Each building was stripped out with new bathroom suites and bedroom furniture including student desks and study areas fitted while all communal kitchen areas were also fully replaced with new appliances, cupboards and storage areas.
The Armstrong Primary School is situated off Observatory Lane in Armagh and the works represent a £2 million investment under the Education Authority’s School Enhancement Programme which serves to either replace or refurbish schools in line with the current curriculum and educational standards.
The original school building was constructed in 1930 using brick with stone dressings and was subsequently updated in 1972 and 2013 however there was still a clear need to extend and refurbish the school to provide modern accommodation. The project involved two single storey extensions to the school, one within the existing courtyard and one to the rear providing 4 new classrooms and ancillary spaces. Other key works were refurbishment of the existing accommodation, provision of a new covered play area in the courtyard and extension of the staff car park. All works were undertaken to comply with Department of Education Schools Handbook.
The Willowbridge Primary School is located on the Lough Shore Road in Enniskillen. It caters for children with learning difficulties and physical disabilities and the works represented a significant investment to both enhance and increase the specialist services the school provides.
The scheme included a 9-classroom extension for Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils and also housing for additional dining room accommodation, an outreach room, staff and administration facilities. This extension tied seamlessly into the existing school building where refurbishment works at this point were completed to aid with the transition and throughout the school to key areas such as the Sports Hall and Entrance Foyer. External landscaping, increased car parking provision and new play areas were also provided.
All works took place in a live school environment which required stringent planning by our management team to ensure constant segregation and control of perimeters for the safety of staff and pupils. Work activities were phased to limit disruption to learning throughout the school semesters and more imposing activities such as tying into the existing building were programmed for holiday periods when use of the school was at a minimum by staff and pupils.